Dr Estelle Strazdins

DPhil (Oxon), MA, BLitt Hons (Melb), BPhysio (La Trobe)
Lecturer in Classics
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Latin And Classical Greek Literature 470513
  • Classical Greek And Roman History 430305
  • Latin And Classical Greek Languages 470316

Research interests

  • The cultural history of Greece
  • Imperial Greek literature and culture
  • Memory and modes of commemoration
  • Greek and Roman travel literature
  • European, American, Antipodean travellers to Greece, Turkey, and the Levant
  • Reception of the classical Greek and Roman world
  • Greek and Roman art and architecture
  • Greek and Roman temporality
  • Identity and ethnicity



Although my first degree was a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (La Trobe), I quickly realised my passion lay less in the correction of physical ailments and more in understanding the workings of antiquity and its effects on the present day. I returned to university to study Classics at Melbourne, where I focused on Greek and Latin language and literature. During my MA and immediately following, I spent several wonderful months in Greece, funded by the Jessie Webb Scholarship, and at the Universities of St Andrews and Oxford, funded by the Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholarship, both administered by the University of Melbourne. I was then lucky enough to receive a Clarendon Scholarship to stay in Oxford and complete my DPhil on 'The Future of the Second Sophistic' (2008-2012). Parts of my degree were spent in the fantastic city of Athens, thanks to the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens' (AAIA) Fellowship for Research in Greece (2009-2010). It was there I developed a fascination with the artefacts and built environments of Roman Greece.

After graduating, I lived for several years in Athens, where I worked outside academia as a freelance editor and proof-reader. During this time, I also held a series of postdoctoral fellowships for research on Roman-period material culture in Greece and Turkey from the Onassis Foundation, the Australian Endeavour Awards, and the IKY Foreigners scheme. These allowed me to spend time at the British School at Athens (BSA), the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA), and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and to visit so many amazing sites in the eastern Mediterranean. From 2014-2018 I also lectured for the BSA's Undergraduate Course, The Archaeology and Topography of Greece, and otherwise haunted the BSA's library and Finlay Room. 

In 2018, I returned to the UK for a position funded by the A.G. Leventis Foundation at the University of Cambridge as a Research Associate and Assistant Editor of the Oxford History of the Archaic Greek World, led by Profs Paul Cartledge and Paul Christesen. Between early 2020 and arriving at the ANU in 2023, I was Lecturer in Greek History at the University of Queensland.

All these fantastic experiences have made me eager to share my enthusiasm for antiquity and its reception with as many and varied audiences as possible. To this end, I have given public lectures for numerous cultural organisations, and been interviewed for La Trobe University's Emperors of Rome Podcast and for the award-winning documentary, The Return Address, on the ethics of museums, produced by Issabella Orlando (Muse+Wander).


Researcher's projects

Cover for 

Fashioning the Future in Roman Greece


I am author of Fashioning the Future in Roman Greece: Memory, Monuments, Texts (Oxford University Press, 2023). My first monograph, this work uses a range of literary, material, and visual sources to explore the relationship of elite Greeks in the Roman empire to time. It challenges conventional thinking on the temporality of the so-called ‘Second Sophistic’ to argue that, rather than being obsessed above all with the Classical past, imperial Greek culture used the past to position itself within tradition as a way of addressing the future. Press reviewers described it as ‘impressive … original and exciting … with the potential to inspire new readings of texts and monuments’, and noted that it ‘compels us to read all of Imperial Greek literary and material production as part of an on-going, high-stakes effort to shape the future’.

My current book project, After Marathon, explores the cultural desire to capitalise on and reinterpret the legend of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BCE with particular reference to the plain of Marathon and its topographical features by various actors from the Roman period to Greece’s emergence as a modern nation state. 

In addition, I am co-editing Terraqueous Topographies in Postclassical Greek Literature with Daniel Hanigan (Cambridge), a collection of essays that probe the literary dynamics of the ecotone — the hybrid zone where water and earth meet and mingle — in Greek texts from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. I am also involved in editing two English editions of Friedrich Nietzsche's lecture notes with Dr Peter D. Murray and Dr Elisabeth Thomas — Nietzsche: The Greek Worship of the Gods and Nietzsche: The History of Greek Literature 1–3 (both under contract with De Gruyter).

Since 2022, I have been part of the project Images of Power in the Roman Empire: Mass Media & the Cult of Emperors with Prof Bronwen Neil (Macquarie), Dr Ryan Strickler (Newcastle), and Dr Amelia Brown (UQ). My role is to probe elite engagement with the image of the emperor in the provinces of Achaea and Asia. This project has been funded by the ARC (DP240100112) from 2024-2028.

I have published several chapters and articles on imperial Greek engagement with and reinterpretation of commemorative landscapes, focusing especially on Herodes Atticus and Arrian. My earlier research studied the intersection of Second Temple Jewish apocalyptic and Greek mythology.

As an active member of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies, I organise their annual Greek and Latin Language Competitions, and I am the current Vice President of the Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies.

Available student projects

I welcome enquries from students wishing to undertake Honours, MPhil or PhD theses in my areas of research interest (see above), as well as Greek and Latin language, literature, and culture more broadly.

Current student projects

  • Louise Fuller, MPhil (UQ), 'Water, Fire and the ‘Ages of Man’: Representations of a Cataclysmic Past in Archaic Greek Literature'


Past student projects

  • Jessica Zelli, MPhil (UQ), 'Voluntary Deaths in Greek and Latin Literature from the Second to Fourth Centuries AD'
  • Jennifer Stevens, Hons (UQ), 'Patriarchy in Parallel: Representations of Women in Greek and Mayan Mythology'
  • Isabella Zust-Sullivan, Hons (UQ), 'Reconstructing Regilla: Identity and Elite Benefaction in the Roman imperial period'
  • Olivia Johnson, Hons (UQ), 'Cultural Hybridity in Ptolemaic Egypt and the Growth of Female Pharaonic Power'



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Updated:  14 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers